Battle of Raseiniai
A single KV-1 or KV-2 tank (accounts vary) advanced far behind the German lines after attacking a column of German trucks. The tank stopped on a road across soft ground and was engaged by four 50 mm anti-tank guns of the 6th Panzer Division’s anti-tank battalion. The tank was hit several times but fired back and disabled all four enemy AT guns. A heavy 88 mm gun of the divisional anti-aircraft battalion was moved about 730 m (800 yd) behind the lone Soviet tank but was knocked out by the tank before it could manage to score a hit. During the night, German combat engineers tried to destroy the tank with satchel charges but failed despite possibly damaging the vehicle’s tracks. Early on the morning of June 25, German tanks fired on the KV from the nearby woodland while another 88 mm gun fired at the tank from its rear. Of several shots fired, only two managed to penetrate the tank. German infantry then advanced towards the KV tank and it responded with machine-gun fire against them. Eventually, the tank was knocked out by grenades thrown into the hatches. According to some accounts, the dead crew was recovered and buried by the approaching German soldiers with full military honors, while in other accounts, the crew escaped from their crippled tank during the night.



Knocked out KV-2 that held up 2 German mechanized battalions for 22 hours,
Raseiniai, Lithuania. 25 June 1941

As recalled by General Erhard Raus of the 6th Panzer Division, yhe KV-2 ran out of fuel on a crossroad on 24 June and made a stand, destroying 12 supply trucks. Four 5cm PaKs were called up to take out the KV-2, but were also destroyed. The German commander on the scene then ordered a 8.8cm Flak 36 be used to knock it out from further away, from behind, but this gun too was spotted and destroyed.

That night, sappers attempted to place satchel charges, but only succeeded in blowing off the tank’s tracks and fenders.

On the morning of the 25th, several German tanks hidden in a nearby woodland distracted the KV-2 with non-penetrating fire, as another 8.8cm was positioned. Of the five shots fired, only two of the 8.8cm rounds penetrated. Still the tank continued to block the road.

German infantry that tried to approach the tank were met by machine-gun and sub-machinegun fire from the tank’s firing ports.

In late midday, infantry went for a second attack, this time making it to the tank itself. The driver’s hatch and turret hatches were blown off with explosives or pried ope, before hand grenades were tossed in. Severely impressed by the bravery and perseverance of the crew, the Germans recovered their remains and buried them.

Raus wrote in his memoirs, “I was deeply shocked by this heroism, we buried them with full military
honors. They fought to the last breath…”